For a millennia they seduced us with their visions of hope, and a mythology that became our religion. Now, the Benefactors are about to be unmasked for what they really are-and mankind may not have a prayer.
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This book was very intersting and a fast read. The ideas are fascinating, especially of the space-going Romans. Characters were good enough to make you care about what happens to them. This is an ok alternate-earth novel. Just two things that bugged me: the author seems to be racists towards Indians and has a low opinion of Jesus. He calls Jesus a "whore-loving schitzophrenic that frequently defrauded his followers". Now this is set on an alternate earth, so anything is possible. But looks more like it that the author didn't like growing up catholic and is taking this out on Jesus's good name. BAD FORM.
This book was hard to finish. The plot was everywhere, with no real structure. Character development was weak. The story had potential, but seemed hastily wrote. Too many differing subjects combined into one. However, some of the ideas were unique and could be successful if developed correctly.
At the height of Rome¿s power, the Benefactors landed on an alternate Earth and went to War with Julius Caesar¿s legions. Unable to defeat the Benefactors, the Romans stole their spaceships and flew to a place where they could live. After two millennia, the Romans forget where earth is located, but both the Romans and the humans remain determined to defeat the Benefactors. The Benefactors took the teachings of Christianity and used it to spread their own message. An underground resistance in North America is giving hope to the people who want to cast off the Benefactor¿s rule. In Europe, the Prussian Empire is openly at war with the Benefactors and is slowly clearing the land of them. There will come a time of reckoning when the Romans and its conquered people as well as the humans must meet, defy the Benefactors, and reach some kind of accommodation with each other. Scott Mackay can always be counted on to create a work that is original in design, yet absorbing and populated with a cast of characters that unite for a common goal. The ethics of the Benefactors is also fascinating because while their plans and battles are malfeasance, their morality is not. They do what they must to survive which is the natural order of a sentient species. If they were not on Earth, would humans be so quick to condemn them. Harriet Klausner